Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Star City

The moorings at Star City are rather good.  They are on the off-side of the canal with a hedge and secure fence between the pontoons and the adjacent Star City complex.  I suspect few of the Star City patrons realize the moorings exist.

We are the sole mooring occupants and haven’t seen a boat since we arrived.

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Today I went for a walk to the Perry Barr OneStop retail park where I bought Jan’s weekly magazines at Asda.  As a youth living on the far side of the world I became familiar with some of the great names of English football clubs.  However I had no idea of their locations.  So it was a slight surprise to discover I was near Aston Villa stadium. 

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Aston Villa has been based at Villa Park since the late 19th Century and during that time the stadium has undergone many additions and alterations.

Another thing I noticed was a large proportion of the population in this part of greater Birmingham appear to have their origins in the Indian sub continent. 

Reading Wikipedia it was interesting to note the area received a huge influx of Irish migrants in the mid 19th Century.  They were likely attracted to the area by the growth in industry. 

Quoting Wikipedia

On Ordnance Survey 1:2500 maps of 1902 and 1904 there is much evidence of industry in the early 20th century: Nechells Chemical Works and Birmingham Paper Mill were located adjacent to the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal at the eastern end of Cattells Grove; a Tube Works, Stove Works and Varnish Works were situated in an area bounded by the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, Holborn Hill and Long Acre; and a building shown as "Park Mills (Edge Tool)" is shown on Wharton Street, again adjoining the Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal.

By the 1950’s the area had become a slum with many of the homes having no electricity, running water, bathrooms or toilets.  It was into this area that a wave of post WW2 migrants from the Caribbean and Indian sub-continent arrived.

During the 1950’s many of the slums were demolished and some of the first residential tower-blocks in England were constructed.  Most of these tower blocks were subsequently demolished in the 1990’s to be replaced by low-rise housing.

In 2000 the Star City family leisure and entertainment complex was built on the site of two former coal fired power stations and a gas works.  It is certainly a large complex.

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Quoting Wikipedia again

Star City is located in Nechells where ethnic minorities make up the majority of the area's population. As a result, the screening of all major Hollywood blockbusters as well as Bollywood films by Vue's theatre at the site is seen as an attraction for visitors. Entertainment for the venue is selected from all over the world with high-profile visits made by the Canadian Cirque du Soleil in 2005 and the Chinese State Circus in 2006 and 2008.

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